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PhD Candidate for the Project 'Interactive Inspection' within the AI4Oversight ICAI Lab

Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
2 april 2024
9 april 2024 Vacature gesloten

The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) are looking for a:

PhD Candidate for the project ‘Interactive Inspection’ within the AI4Oversight ICAI Lab

Join our exciting research on ‘Interactive Inspection’ and contribute to an AI system that collaborates with a human inspector in real time during site visits, enabling more effective, time-efficient, and fair inspections in sectors such as transport, education, labour, and the food industry. You will be based at Leiden University and become part of the AI4Oversight lab, providing a supportive and welcoming work environment, and involving high-profile partners such as the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate, Inspectorate of Education, Labour Authority, Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, TNO, and Utrecht University.

Key responsibilities

Inspectorates aim to do their work in a selective, effective and reflective manner to maximise their societal benefit. This ambition is challenged by limited resources and an immense task load. The current project develops effective and responsible AI to support oversight at the national level.
The PhD candidate takes the lead in a project that involves the step towards real-time, interactive AI support for the inspection process. Instead of updating databases with observations after a site visit, inspectors will move to having live interactions with a data-driven model during the inspection. Their observations feed the model with new data, while also steering the instructions and questions the model presents to the inspectors, making sure that they make the most of the site visit. Responsibly integrating recent generative AI models into the workflow, in particular Large Language Models (LLMs), will be part of the challenge. The position involves the following key responsibilities:

  • Conduct original and novel research in the fields of Interactive AI or Hybrid Intelligence, where AI models are built to naturally interface with and augment human capacities;
  • Publish and present scientific articles at international journals and conferences;
  • Collaborate with other PhD candidates and senior researchers in the AI4Overisight lab, researchers at the partners’ data science labs, the intended users, and other stakeholders;
  • Assist in relevant teaching activities;

Selection Criteria

The successful applicant should be a highly motivated university graduate with a strong track record as demonstrated by relevant experience, grades, and/or publications. The applicant is expected to have:

  • MSc degree in Artificial Intelligence, Data science, Applied Mathematics, Computer science, or comparable;
  • Good programming skills in e.g. Python;
  • Solid experience with human-computer interaction, machine learning, generative AI / LLMs, Hybrid Intelligence, or related topics;
  • Excellent communication skills in English. Dutch proficiency or willingness to learn is a plus;
  • Ability and drive to work with diverse stakeholders, e.g., inspectors, policy makers, professionals in various sectors, academic researchers;
  • A background check may be part of the selection procedure. As we are selecting multiple positions for this research lab, we may request to consider your application for another research track. We will contact you if we do so.


With joining the AI4Oversight ICAI lab, you join a community that collaborates to address AI challenges specific to the inspection domain leading to scientifically attested methods. The AI4Oversight lab connects the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT), the Netherlands Labour Authority (NLA), the Inspectorate of Education (IvhO), Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Utrecht University and Leiden University. Collaboration between these organisations is seen as an essential element of our lab. Working together allows not only to develop new knowledge, but also to use each other’s expertise, to experiment together, to learn from each other and to bring theory to practice.

The execution of the research will be highly participatory. You will spend time at the offices of funding partners and dive into the practical challenges and way of working of the partners. You will work together with data scientists of the partners, who will contribute with practical experiences and use cases. The AI4Oversight Lab hosts at least 6 PhD students and knowledge exchanges will be held regularly to promote collaboration.

Research at our faculty

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to contribute to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2.300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. For more information, see www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science and www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) is the Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Institute in the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. We offer courses at the Bachelor and Master of Science level in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, ICT in Business, Media Technology, and Bioinformatics. According to an independent research visitation, we are one of the foremost computer science departments of the Netherlands. We strive for excellence in a caring institute, where excellence, fun, and diversity go hand in hand. We offer a clear and inviting career path to young and talented scientists with the ambition to grow. For more information about LIACS, see http://www.cs.leiden.edu

Terms and conditions

We offer a full-time 1-year term position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary ranges from € 2.770, - to € 3.539, - gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/graduate-school-of-of-science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

D&I statement

Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Enquiries can be made to Max van Duijn (m.j.van.duijn@liacs.leidenuniv.nl) and Cor Veenman
(c.j.veenman@liacs.leidenuniv.nl) If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Anne-Marie Alleblas, email jobs@liacs.leidenuniv.nl


To apply for this vacancy, please submit your application online via the blue button in the vacancy. Please ensure that you include the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • CV;
  • Motivation letter;
  • Sample of written work (publication or MSc thesis excerpt) + 100-word motivation of the sample;

Only applications received before April 9th, 2024 can be considered.

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